Can You Travel While Your Adjustment of Status is Still in Process?

Imagine you are going through the immigration process in the United States, you already know that the laws are quite complicated. It is critical to avoid making any errors while waiting for an immigration application to be processed. If your adjustment of status is pending, you are likely to be focused on taking all the required steps to ensure that you can obtain your lawful permanent resident status. As such, you know that it is necessary to avoid any actions that could in any way affect your case. Various situations can arise while your adjustment of status is pending and perhaps you have a need to travel. The questions come to mind, “Am I able to travel while my adjustment of status is pending, or will traveling affect my application?

Learn How an Adjustment of Status Works

To get a grasp on your rights and responsibilities while your adjustment of status is pending, it is vital to understand with clarity what an adjustment of status means. As the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) states, “Adjustment of Status is the process that you can use to apply for lawful permanent residence (also known as applying for a U.S. Green Card) when you are presently in the U.S.”

For your adjustment of status to be pending, you will have already submitted a green card application, which means that you have filed all the required documents & information along with Form I-485 after determining your eligibility for an adjustment of status or a green card.

If you have a pending adjustment of status, you know that you had to show that you were eligible based on one of the requirements under U.S. immigration law such as:

  • Being the close relative of the petitioner who is a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident
  • Sponsorship through an employer or
  • Some other grounds

Unless you applied for an adjustment of status through marriage to a U.S. citizen, you also likely needed to have a valid visa or be part of the Visa Waiver Program so that you are lawfully in the U.S. at the time of applying. After going through this complex process, it is important that your application is approved and that you do not take any other actions that could harm your application.

Can I Travel Overseas While Awaiting a Green Card Application?

Traveling while a green card application is pending can affect the whole process. Generally speaking, adjustment of status applicants will need to obtain an advance parole document to be able to travel out of the country while waiting for a pending Form I-485. If you are required to obtain an advance parole document and you fail to do so, you will be deemed as having abandoned your adjustment of status application.